Overview of affiliate programs
Overview of affiliate programs" можно определить как a review and description of various affiliate programs that offer earning opportunities in internet marketing. Such overviews typically include details on the terms of participation in the program, the amount of commission payouts
Traffic arbitrage

Restricted traffic: what can't be shared and how to avoid getting banned.

In the world of arbitrage, just like in any other market, there are dishonest players who try to make money by breaking the rules. Some unscrupulous webmasters dream of pouring in black traffic, quickly earning a good profit, and then disappearing. However, such earnings disappear as abruptly as they appear.

Sometimes, a webmaster may unknowingly use fraudulent traffic. They come across a script online that claims to be a "super lucrative" scheme and decide to make money without fully understanding it. But as it is known, ignorance does not exempt one from responsibility. We want to warn about the consequences that dark traffic entails: suspension of the partnership program, being banned, and fines. To prevent such consequences, we have prepared an article on the types of traffic that are prohibited or undesirable in most affiliate networks.

About fraud

Fraudulent traffic, also known as fraud, refers to a deliberate and premeditated attempt to deceive advertisers, affiliate networks, or other webmasters. It involves engaging in deceptive practices with the intention of misleading and defrauding the parties involved.
PP (partnership programs) that operate on the following models often encounter prohibited traffic:

  • CPL (Cost Per Lead) - payment for a lead;
  • CPI (Cost Per Install) - payment for app installation;
  • CPC (Cost Per Click) - payment for clicks.

Black traffic, which is unequivocally prohibited

Motivated traffic

Motivated traffic is a scheme in which an arbitrager promises to pay users for performing specific actions. For example, depositing money into an account, clicking on banners, spending a few minutes on a website, registering in a game, and so on. The "paid" users then carry out the desired actions.

The advertiser sees that the arbitrager's traffic is active and pays them the corresponding reward. The webmaster then shares a portion of the money with their "helpers."

It is evident that such traffic is not desirable for the partnership program as it does not bring any genuine engagement or revenue. The users were simply motivated by money or bonuses.
Motivated traffic is a typical example of prohibited traffic under the CPL/CPI model.
Popular themes for such artificial traffic generation include:

  • Online games
  • Registrations in various clubs
  • Online stores with payment for orders

Exceptions: There are situations where the advertiser is willing to pay for a specific action themselves. For example, paying for application downloads to boost its ranking. Such situations are negotiated separately.


Mimicry is a situation where an arbitrager copies a website, channel, or advertiser's group, pretending to be them. Mimicry is a prohibited form of traffic as it directly threatens the brand's reputation. Users should clearly understand which is the real advertiser's website and which is an offer from a partner.

A similar situation arises with social media groups: one cannot claim to be an official representative of the brand on platforms like VK or Instagram. Sending emails on behalf of the advertiser is also prohibited. Any mention of the brand or product should be coordinated with the advertiser, as it involves their reputation at stake.

Cookie stuffing

Cookie stuffing is a mechanism that allows fraudulent arbitrators to overwrite the cookies of legitimate webmasters. It is also referred to as "cookie stuffing." Cunning arbitrators replace the cookies of partners who genuinely drive customers with their own cookies. They accomplish this using special scripts and programs that are typically unnoticed by regular users.

As a result, dishonest arbitrators obtain earnings that rightfully belong to others, while advertisers end up paying for essentially empty results.
Arbitrators employ various methods to overwrite cookies:

  • Changing settings in public Wi-Fi networks: They manipulate the settings of public Wi-Fi networks to intercept and modify cookies during user sessions.
  • Exploiting viruses: They use viruses or malware that can infect a user's computer and manipulate cookies without their knowledge or consent.
  • Embedding code snippets in HTML: They insert code snippets into website HTML, often in the form of hidden iframes, which redirect to affiliate links and overwrite cookies.
  • Utilizing browser toolbars: They leverage browser toolbars, where users can store bookmarks, extensions, and widgets, to inject code that modifies cookies and redirects traffic to their own affiliate links.
These techniques allow arbitrators to surreptitiously replace legitimate webmasters' cookies with their own, leading to improper attribution of earnings and deceptive practices.
To detect cookie stuffing, affiliate networks utilize special tools. These tools allow them to track the last referral source through which a purchase was made, as well as the presence of this source in the conversion path. Additionally, they monitor the quality of traffic from each individual webmaster, automatically cross-reference the data, and block dishonest arbitrators.
The aim is to identify any fraudulent activities and ensure that proper attribution is given to the rightful sources of traffic and conversions. By employing these measures, affiliate networks can effectively detect and mitigate the impact of cookie stuffing practices.

Fake orders

Fake orders are an example of fraud in the context of Cost Per Action (CPA). An arbitrator, either on their own or with the help of others, places orders and then cancels them, inventing various reasons. They then receive a refund for the purchase, while the webmaster receives the expected payout from the advertiser. In this scenario, the user has performed the desired action. However, it is evident that such traffic is undesirable for affiliate networks, as it involves sales to non-genuine buyers.

Low-quality traffic

Email spam

Promotional email campaigns annoy the majority of users. Therefore, if a recipient has not given consent to receive such emails, the campaign is considered spam. To prevent such situations, arbitrators are asked to demonstrate how they collect email addresses and the conditions to which users agree when subscribing. Only after this process can the webmaster begin working with the advertiser. It is desirable for the email campaign to be neither too frequent nor intrusive.

"Yellow" teasers

"Yellow" teasers, or sensational teasers, have been banned because they are not aimed at providing information about the product but rather using any means to make users click on the ad.

Therefore, if you can choose good product Unique Selling Points (USPs) and present them in a way that creates a wow-effect without deceiving users, you are welcome to drive traffic. However, if you come up with something beyond reality, like "Lose 15kg in 15 hours!..", the moderators are likely to have questions. Additionally, there will be many rejections due to the mismatch between the advertisement and the product.

Click-under, Pop-under, Pop-up

These are types of pop-up banners that appear suddenly. They show up when a website is opened, covering the main information or acting as a background on the page. They can appear on their own or after clicking anywhere on the site. As a result, people see the content regardless of their desire to do so. Typically, it only causes annoyance and nothing else.

Some advertisers do not prohibit the use of banners. Nevertheless, it is better to use them with caution. Pop-up windows can be shown, for example, when a user is about to leave the site or has scrolled to the end of a page.

How is fraudulent traffic detected?

Practically every affiliate network imposes restrictions on the use of certain types of traffic. For example, incentivized traffic.
Detecting fraudulent traffic can be quite simple. Here are some indicators:

  • A high volume of clicks within a short period.
  • Anomalous activity during nighttime.
  • One channel being the source of the majority of users.
  • Similar behavior exhibited by different users.
  • Unusual or non-standard user behavior.
  • A large number of clicks originating from a single IP address.
  • Short user lifespans.

Today, some affiliate networks delegate the task of detecting fraud to anti-fraud systems, while others analyze traffic manually. Therefore, it is important not to submit prohibited or low-quality traffic as high-quality traffic to advertisers. In such cases, you won't receive any payment, but you may face an account suspension or penalty.

If you are unsure about the type of traffic allowed in a specific affiliate network, it is advisable to reach out to the managers who can provide guidance and explanations.


The better your traffic quality, the more profit you will gain and the fewer problems you will encounter. Improve your skills, study traffic sources, and focus on delivering high-quality traffic!